Birgu Blue, located in Malta’s maritime capital of Birgu (Vittoriosa) within the Grand Harbour, is a one-of-a-kind, independent boutique, combining a workshop and an atelier. The vibe is artisanal, slightly rebellious, and retro all at once and characterised by an in-house leather artisan and master craftsman.
The store location has an intriguing history. It is located in the Collacchio quarter, the area exclusively reserved as living quarters to the members of the prestigious religious Order of the Knights, where the original Knights’ Auberges, opulent palazzos of notable architectural importance still stand today in the medieval plant-lined cobbled streets.
The street was later named Britannia Street in the 19th Century, when Malta formed part of the British Empire, and was eventually renamed Hilda Tabone Street in the early 70’s after a renowned Maltese opera singer whose family lived in the city.
At Birgu Blue, Malta-based designer Ozzy Chien runs the show, and curates an eclectic selection of accessories ranging from hand-stitched leather accessories designed and hand-crafted by himself, vintage gems, unique artisanal jewelry pieces, batik cushions, homeware and limited-edition prints.
Originally from Taiwan, Ozzy Chien studied leather accessory design at the world-renowned Accademia Costume e Moda in Rome and worked side by side with Master Italian craftsman and artist Stefano Conticelli on projects and commissions for luxury connoisseurs, royalty and multi-millionaire VIPs.
In a constant search for perfection, Oz experiments with new styles, processes and materials in pursuit of the perfect harmony of form and function, a balance found in studied design and meticulous attention to detail.
Shoppers at Birgu Blue can explore an assortment of accessories from emerging designers as well as more affirmed Maltese and international designer artists. The shop also has a gourmet section proposing Maltese jams and chutneys, as well as 100% pure Maltese honey and mead.
In this issue, we curate our favourite items from Birgu Blue.
Oz – the in-house leather brand, whose collection includes beautiful hand-stitiched leather bags and accessories as well as bespoke unique pieces which are crafted to specification using the highest quality leather from the best tanneries in Tuscany.
Urban Island – batik cushions, fabrics and handloom – Sri Lanka
With Love from our Kitchen – home-made, premium jams and chutneys – Malta
I gioielli di Nina – a curated selection of costume jewelry from a pool of Mediterranean women artists and jewelry designers – Italy & Greece
Flora in Blue – original cyanotype prints taken from Maltese wild flowers and fauna – Malta
Sloyd on the Rock – Hand-carved functional objects made out of Maltese tree branches that have been pruned or that have fallen off the tree.- Malta
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